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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone, I've been reading on the forums for a little while and finally decided to join. I am a newbie dog trainer with my first pup. She's a Chesapeake Bay Retriever and Black Lab mix from an accidental litter of two purebreds with strong hunting backgrounds. She's just over 7 months. She's made quite a bit of progress over the past few months. She's very good with obedience, gun fire, and retrieving. I've gotten her into single marks, blinds, and even some doubles and she has done quite well, at least until the last couple of weeks.

Lately I've been having issues with her losing interests in her retrieves. She'll run strong to the bumper, sniff it, and then wander off. I haven't had this issue until the last couple of weeks. I generally come home from work in the middle of the day to take her out and work with her for 15-20 minutes and then again when I get off work. In that time I normally throw 8 or 10 retrieves at most in each session.

Since it's been warming up I've been mixing in going to the lake every other day. She does fine there and stays very excited the whole time.

Is she getting bored? Possibly too hot? Not enough stimulation? Or am I just pushing her too much too soon?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Could be teething???? Mine had teething issues at late 6 month time frame, seven months wouldnt be unheard of..... Just a possibility.....
 

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Chasing a bumper is God given, bring it back is man made... When they are very young we get them to bring it back with pure excitement (and some times the use of a rope) when they get older you finish the retrieve processes by force breaking a dog to fetch.

Great lookin' pup and water there! Don't buy into the pure bred mess unless you plan to run AKC/UKC events, its just a dog pickin up birds otherwise.
 

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I second that it is about time for the Force Fetch Process to begin.
Welcome to RTF!
 

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I agree with FF, also has she ever held a real bird? I've found that i f a pup looses interest in dummies, mix it up with pigeons. Holding a real fresh bird is intoxicating for a retriever pup. The smell, feel and action is a huge exciting factor. Also are you following a training program?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I agree with FF, also has she ever held a real bird? I've found that i f a pup looses interest in dummies, mix it up with pigeons. Holding a real fresh bird is intoxicating for a retriever pup. The smell, feel and action is a huge exciting factor. Also are you following a training program?
that's kind of what i was thinking. i've been readying a bit about ff and was thinking she's about to that point.

she's had quite a few duck wings and has worked some with fresh shot ducks back during the season. unfortunately i didn't keep any to use so i'm working to track down so birds. unfortunately i don't have to ability to keep live birds where i'm currently living...

i've been working off of tom dokken's book. i've also joined an hrc club to get some help from them too but we haven't had a training day since february.
 

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I'd suggest finding a local pro for a few reasons. 1) FF can be tricky and it's best to have someone experienced help you through the process, 2) they have all the tools and knowledge necessary to help you through not only FF but other aspects of training as well, and 3) most pros will gladly trade out a little knowledge for a good days help in the field. Good luck, and keep at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good to know guys! Thank you! There's a reputable trainer pretty close to me that we normally hold our HRC training days along with some other experienced trainers in the club. I would imagine I should be able to track someone down to help!

Does anyone have any experience with the SmartFetch DVD's? We have them in the club library and thought it might be worth taking a look at.
 

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Hi Everyone, I've been reading on the forums for a little while and finally decided to join. I am a newbie dog trainer with my first pup. She's a Chesapeake Bay Retriever and Black Lab mix from an accidental litter of two purebreds with strong hunting backgrounds. She's just over 7 months. She's made quite a bit of progress over the past few months. She's very good with obedience, gun fire, and retrieving. I've gotten her into single marks, blinds, and even some doubles and she has done quite well, at least until the last couple of weeks.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
The part I highlighted in bold would be where I would look first - singles, blinds and doubles?? For a 7 month old? That sounds like a lot. Especailly one that has not been through ff.
 

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The part I highlighted in bold would be where I would look first - singles, blinds and doubles?? For a 7 month old? That sounds like a lot. Especailly one that has not been through ff.
I saw this too and agree. Do simple puppy singles and ditch the blinds for now IMO. You are prob making life harder for yourself in the future, unless you have a new, ingenious way to teach puppy blinds. FF is needed for sure for a basis for retrieves and blinds. This is probably one of the most stated items on RTF..."Get on a program" if you are not following one now. Maybe that needs to be a header or something?
 

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It sounds to me like the problem is losing interest in marking. How is ff going to help with that. From your post it sounds like you are pushing too hard and getting a confused dog. Simplify and have let the dog enjoy the work again before FF. I'm amazed at how often FF is recommended to fix problems with dogs--especially when it will probably get the adverse reaction that the trainer is looking to get. You can't FF a dog that is not showing interest and come out with a happy ending. If you want to get good advice have a pro evaluate--let them tell you when the dog is mature enough for FF.
 

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It sounds to me like the problem is losing interest in marking. How is ff going to help with that. From your post it sounds like you are pushing too hard and getting a confused dog. Simplify and have let the dog enjoy the work again before FF. I'm amazed at how often FF is recommended to fix problems with dogs--especially when it will probably get the adverse reaction that the trainer is looking to get. You can't FF a dog that is not showing interest and come out with a happy ending. If you want to get good advice have a pro evaluate--let them tell you when the dog is mature enough for FF.
She'll run strong to the bumper, sniff it, and then wander off.

Marking doesn't sound like a problem to me, just the pickup and return. Just a thought. I agree completely with the confussed and simplify part. Singles, doubles, and blinds I would think would be a big load for an unprepared pup. Cart before the horse...
 

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FF will enforce the idea that he or she needs to bring the bumper back. Its an obedience thing. Interested or not the dog needs to know its job. Good Luck.
Ed Kern
 

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Its called lack of maturity and too much too soon. FF is not a cure all--just because a dog is blinking a bumper does not mean FF is the answer. IF the dog was really into the work it would at least pick it up and try to play keep away or chew it up--not wander off and leave it there. The fact it leaves the retrieve object and wanders off says the dog is not into it for whatever reason(very likely burnt out from too many marks). Cut the retrieves back significantly for a few weeks and put the dog up wanting more. I've been through the same thing with my first dog--too many marks too soon dulled the enthusiasm. He went from fetching every bumper and returning to running out to the bumper and wandering off. He wanted it--I pushed too hard and made a mess of a puppy. I gave him a break for a week and got back at it. Started using birds more(live ones) and the switch flipped back on. He was back to picking up whatever I threw(which was 2 or 3 fun bumpers a day for another week-then back to bb marks.) It was a lesson learned and a good one. I did not FF until his desire was back through the roof and I felt he was mature enough for the process. He has been full of piss and vinegar from then on--now 2.5 yrs old. My opinion only of course--good luck and get help.
She'll run strong to the bumper, sniff it, and then wander off.

Marking doesn't sound like a problem to me, just the pickup and return. Just a thought. I agree completely with the confussed and simplify part. Singles, doubles, and blinds I would think would be a big load for an unprepared pup. Cart before the horse...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thank you again for the advice everyone! just for clarification when i was saying doubles and blinds i didn't mean anything technical or complicated on cut grass where everything was easy to see. she was actually more excited about those than just single, simple marks.

one way are another i'm taking it easy for a few days in regards to retrieving. i'm working on trying to track down some birds to use. if anyone is familiar with the charlotte/western NC area and have any suggestions please let me know!!!!!

on the FF note, i am going to take a look at our club's dvd copy of SmartFetch to look into FF her in the near future. hopefully with the help of some more experienced trainers! she doesn't have much of an issue with bringing the dummy to hand when she does retrieve it but i definitely understand the purpose!
 

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Hunter 06 when you get to 10 posts send me a PM. I'm in the charlotte area and just a couple of months behind you on my training with my 5 month old lab.

I have a contact for pigeons that I picked up a while back. Pretty cheap compared to others I found.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
ok that would be great! i could definitely take all the help i can get! i think the pigeons would definitely help my pup right now too!
 
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